Forsythia (Forsythia suspensa) is a climbing plant of the Oleaceae plant family, that is used in traditional Asian medicines to treat gonorrhea, erysipedas, inflammation and pharyngitis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, forsythia is referred to as Lian Qiao.
Fruits contain: lignans (forsythin or phillyrin, phillygenin, pinoresinol, and pinoresinol-D-glucoside); flavonoids (rutin (1,000 ppm in the flower)); phenylethane derivatives (forsythoside A, C, D, E, suspensaside, and salidroside); ethylcyclohexanone alcohol derivatives (cornside, rengyol, isorengyol, rengyoxide, rengyolone, and rengyoside A, B, C); and triterpenoids (betulinic acid, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, amyrin acetate, isobauerenyl acetate, etc.)
Vitamins and Minerals
The fruit contains high amounts of calcium (4,380 ppm), potassium (9,560 ppm), iron (440 ppm) and magnesium (1,160 ppm).
Forsythiaside, a main active component in forsythia, has been reported to inhibit growth of Escherichia coli-10B, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus-Rn4220.
Adding 100 mg/kg of forsythia extract (FSE) to the diet of 144 broilers, for 7 days showed that it enhanced nutrient digestibility and performance in chickens, by reducing oxidative stress and immune depression challenged by corticosterone (CS). Two separate studies conducted on 276 and 252 broilers, respectively, showed that adding 100 mg/kg of forsythia extract (FSE) to the diet improved growth performance even during high ambient temperatures, likely by enhancing immunity, reducing oxidative stress, and promoting good bacteria to colonize the digestive tract of the birds.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
TCM attributes include bitter in flavor and slightly cold in properties. It is associated with the lung, heart and gall bladder. Its essential functions include clearing away heat and toxic materials, reducing swelling, and dissipating nodules. Main forsythia uses and indications are wind-heat type common cold, febrile disease, anuria in heat strangury, boils and carbuncles, pyogenic infections, scrofula, goiter and tumor, and pharyngitis.